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Smokey Wilson - The Big Town Recordings

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:32 pm
by blueswriter
Round Like An Apple - The Big Town Recordings 1977-1978
Ace (2006) CDCHD 1123


17 tracks, 78 minutes - excellent. It's a safe bet that a good percentage of readers will know the name Smokey Wilson but it may also be fair to say that most are only familiar with him from his work since 1993, the year he signed with the Bullseye label. Round Like An Apple - The Big Town Recordings 1977-1978 turns back the clock to Smokey's first recording sessions for the Bihari Brothers imprint and tosses in five previously unissued tracks, but the swap is that a handful of cuts present on the LPs have been sacrificed. With better sound than the old vinyl counterparts delivered the song trade-off is a fair one but a number of listeners might have preferred a straight reissue with all the original cuts intact. Wilson's biting guitar and rough-edged vocals were in great form for these sessions (including How Many More Years, Night Time Is The Right Time, Annie Lee and the smoking Low Rider [Duece & A Quarter] Wilson's ode to the long-extinct Electra 225) and although Rod Piazza's tasteful harmonica is evident on a number of sides, the mostly unknown supporting cast is stiff and plodding with too many rock excesses showing, especially in comparison to Smokey's recordings in the intervening years. Ace Records continues to expand the blues department in their catalog and many listeners will be satisfied adding this disc to the shelves but hardcore aficionados will likely agree that Smokey sounded much tougher backed by Rod Piazza's outfit for the Murray Brothers logo in 1983 - a set begging for reissue with all the care this disc was afforded.

Ace Records

© 2007 by Craig Ruskey